Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Ex-Army officer Andrew Whiddett admits child webcam abuse

Andrew Whiddett Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption Andrew Whiddett, a former lieutenant colonel who went on to be the private head of security at the British embassy in Baghdad, was made an MBE

A former British army officer has admitted arranging for children to be sexually abused in the Philippines while he watched online.

Andrew Whiddett, a retired lieutenant colonel appointed MBE for his service in Northern Ireland, admitted six child sex charges at Croydon Crown Court.

He paid thousands of pounds for the abuse, the National Crime Agency said.

A judge warned the 70-year-old, of Minerva Crescent, Portsmouth, he would be jailed when sentenced on 22 May.

In total the defendant made 49 payments totalling £8,584 between January 2015 and July 2017, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The abuse happened after his army service and after he left employment as head of security at the British embassy in Baghdad.

'Soul-destroying abuse'

He admitted attempting to cause or incite a nine-year-old girl and another aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

He also pleaded guilty to arranging the commission of a child sex offence in September 2016.

The NCA said he told a contact he wanted to sexually abuse a child when he visited the Philippines the following month.

Whiddett also admitted three further charges of making indecent photographs of a child when he appeared in court on Wednesday, the NCA said.

NCA officer Gary Fennelly said: "Andrew Whiddett was directly responsible for the soul-destroying abuse of children thousands of miles away from him.

"He thought he could get away with abusing Filipino children from the comfort of his own home."

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